Business Related Fraud in Arizona
An entire chapter of the Arizona Criminal Code codifies what activities constitute business and commercial frauds. Ariz. Rev. Stat. §13-2201 – 13-2208.
Business fraud consists of dishonest and illegal activities perpetrated by individuals or companies in order to obtain an advantageous financial outcome. An array of crimes fall under Arizona business and commercial frauds, including the following:
Deceptive Business Practices
A person commits deceptive business practices if in the course of engaging in a business, occupation or profession he or she recklessly:
- Uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or any other device for falsely determining or recording any quality or quantity; or
- Sells, offers or exposes for sale or delivers less than the represented quantity of any commodity or service; or
- Takes or attempts to take more than the represented quantity of any goods or service when as buyer such person furnishes the weight or measure; or
- Sells, offers or exposes for sale adulterated goods or services; or
- Sells, offers or exposes for sale mislabeled goods or services.
Ariz. Rev. Stat. §13-2202. Committing a deceptive business practice is a class 1 misdemeanor. This is the most serious misdemeanor classification in Arizona. While misdemeanors are less severe crimes than felonies, a person can still serve jail time if convicted of certain misdemeanors. Under Arizona law, the maximum sentence for imprisonment for a class 1 misdemeanor is up to six months in jail. Ariz. Rev. Stat. §13-707.
False Advertising occurs when a person, in connection with the promotion of the sale of property or services, “recklessly” makes a false or misleading statement in any advertising. Ariz. Rev. Stat. §13-2203.
Under Arizona law, “recklessly” means “that a person is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur or that the circumstance exists.” Ariz. Rev. Stat. §13-105(10)(c). Further, the reasonable person standard applies. This means the risk must be of such a nature and degree that disregard of the risk constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the situation.
False Advertising in Arizona is also a class 1 misdemeanor.
Defrauding Secured Creditors
A person commits the crime of defrauding secured creditors if he or she knowingly sells, transfers, conceals, or destroys secured property “with the intent to hinder or prevent the enforcement of that interest.” Ariz. Rev. Stat. §13-2204.
A secured creditor is a creditor who holds a security interest in a piece of property, such that if the debt owed to the creditor is not repayed per the loan terms, the secured creditor has the right to foreclose on real property or otherwise seize property. Typical secured creditors include lenders of home mortgages and banks financing car loans.
Defrauding secured creditors is a class 6 felony. At its discretion the court may enter judgment of conviction for a class 1 misdemeanor in lieu of a felony conviction. Ariz. Rev. Stat. §13-604. While a class 6 is the least serious of the felony classifications in Arizona, conviction can still carry a sentence for imprisonment.
Defrauding Judgment Creditors
A person commits the crime of defrauding judgment creditors if he or she assigns, conveys, or otherwise disposes of property “with the intent to defraud a judgment creditor or to prevent that property from being subjected to payment of a judgment.” Ariz. Rev. Stat. §13-2205.
Defrauding Judgment Creditors is also a class 6 felony.
A person commits usury by knowingly engaging in providing financing and makes loans at a higher interest rate than what is authorized by law. Ariz. Rev. Stat. §13-2208. Usury is also a class 1 misdemeanor.
Defending Against Business Related Fraud Charges in Arizona
If you are facing charges of business or commercial fraud in Arizona, you need an aggressive and experienced white collar criminal defense attorney on your side. Ashley D. Adams is a former fraud prosecutor with the United States Attorney’s Office. She understands how prosecutors operate. Given her prior work, she also has a longstanding and positive relationship with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Attorney General’s Office, and the Department of Justice. Put Ashley D. Adam’s experience to work for you.
The attorneys at Ashley D. Adams, PLC handle state criminal cases throughout Arizona including the cities of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Mesa, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Maricopa, Gilbert, Peoria, Surprise, Goodyear, Litchfield Park, Avondale, Chandler, Casa Grande, Florence, Queen Creek, Deer Valley, North Pinal and Sun City as well as those living in and around Maricopa County, Pinal County, Pima County, Yuma County and Yavapai County.
The attorneys at Ashley D. Adams, PLC handle federal criminal cases throughout the United States, including Arizona, Oklahoma, Utah, and California.